During September 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted within the precincts of the Ramon Marble Quarry north of Mizpe Ramon (Permit No. A-4254; map ref. NIG 18075/50485; OIG 13075/00485). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Ramon Marble Quarry, was directed by E. Aladjem, with the assistance of V. Pirsky (surveying).
Four squares were opened in a hilly region, within a round threshing floor (diam. 12 m) that was built in a low spot between the hills. The southeastern part of the threshing floor was founded on a natural bedrock outcrop, whereas the northwestern part was built on alluvium that covered bedrock.
The threshing floor was built of indigenous undressed stones. The region is characterized by bedrock outcrops and numerous terraces, which due to natural weathering, provided a supply of building material. The threshing floor was delimited by a curved wall (W10), preserved two courses high. A rectangular platform (L106; length 2 m, width 1 m) was adjacent to the wall on the west. Another semicircular installation joined the inside of the threshing floor (L101; diam. 1 m). A wall (W13), which abutted the threshing floor on the south, was probably the remains of another installation that also joined W10. No archaeological finds were discovered.
The threshing floor is the sole remain of agricultural activity in the area of the quarry and no ancient settlements were discerned in this region. Threshing floors of this kind are known from the Negev Highlands and the region north of Makhtesh Ramon (S. Rosen 1994. Map of Makhtesh Ramon ; M. Haiman, 1999. Map of Har Ramon ). They date to the Byzantine and the Early Islamic periods and are characteristic of farmstead activities in the region.